A flood can have devastating consequences for a hotel. Besides the substantial repair costs, there’s also the lost revenues resulting from uninhabitable rooms.
Implementing a proactive approach is the best way to prepare for a flood and mitigate the damage. Use the following flood prevention tips to guide you in forming a plan:
BFE is the level where a building has a 1% chance of flooding each year. Ideally, your hotel should be at least 3 feet above the BFE in your area — just in case the floodwaters rise higher than anticipated. To determine the BFE for your hotel, consult a flood map or contact your municipality’s building department.
Dry floodproofing entails making a structure watertight below the level that requires flood protection. Specific dry floodproofing techniques include measures to:
You may also consider surrounding the hotel with permanent flood walls.
It’s wise to relocate heating, ventilation and air conditioning units to a higher floor to limit exposure to floodwater. Consider building a floodproof wall around the equipment or even performing a rooftop installation if feasible. To minimize the risk of damage to electrical equipment, hire a licensed electrician to raise components such as circuit breakers, sockets and switches at least 12 inches above BFE.
Surround your hotel with plants, vegetation and foliage. Besides enhancing the property’s appearance, the flora will enable floodwaters to drain more quickly and efficiently. Plants can also help to prevent the soil erosion that flooding often causes.
Use urethane-based caulk to fill cracks around windows, utility pipe penetrations and other gaps in the foundation and exterior where rising floodwaters could enter your building. This step will also make your hotel more energy-efficient and increase your guests’ comfort. Apply a waterproof coating to enhance the building’s structural integrity and prevent the mold and mildew that frequently occur after a flood.
Your commercial insurance policy will likely cover water damage caused by burst pipes or leaky plumbing fixtures — but not flood-related damage. A hotel should also carry a separate flood insurance policy. The National Flood Insurance Program, which is available through private insurance agents and brokers, can provide up to $500,000 of coverage for your building and the same amount for its contents.
At Unlimited Restoration, we understand what it takes to prepare for floods and other catastrophic events. We’ll work with you to set up a comprehensive flood prevention plan for your business. We also provide complete restoration and recovery services when disaster strikes.
Contact us to learn more about what you can use to prevent flooding at your hotel.